Ayron Jones and The Way out of Seattle, WA is on to something …
What can you say about finding an unknown regional performer that puts a unique mark on a genre in
a way that makes you sit up and go, “Well this is new” In relative recent memory Stevie Ray Vaughn and his spin on the blues comes to mind. It could potentially be Beck’s Odelay or even Rage Against the Machine’s debut album. Perhaps the most recent would be the 1997 Radiohead album, OK Computer.
All fine albums that when you first heard them, it made you want to listen to them again immediately
because you couldn’t believe what you heard the first time. The question; is it really all that recent?
Ayron Jones and The Way out of Seattle, WA is on to something. Their first album Dream was released November 2, 2013. They are so new that Ayron Jones and The Way haven’t toured outside of the
northwest of America but, don’t take regional success as an indicator of a lack of talent. They are slowly building momentum and have already been featured on the show, Band of Seattle, played on local influential independent radio station KEXP. In addition, they had the privilege of opening for the blue’s supreme living legend BB King March 3 of this year at the famous Seattle Moore Theater.
The Hip-Hop infusion seems to be more of a partial, unconscious essence than a direct implication.
Ayron’s playing is sometimes compared to Jimi Hendrix, simply because Jimi is associated with Seattle, and it is true that Hendrix’s influences are apparent to some extent at times. Not necessarily a bad person to be compared to yet, I certainly hear a lot more SRV than Jimi. However, there is a lot more here. The influences and personal experiences of the group are deeper than that. There is Rock, Punk, Blues, Funk, and even, dare I say it, shades and brush-strokes of Hip-Hop; but, not in the usual overt ways that have been used by some artists. The Hip-Hop infusion seems to be more of a partial,
unconscious essence than a direct implication. Ayron himself has said that his three most influential
albums are; Stevie Ray Vaughn’s In Step, Nirvana’s Nevermind, and Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain. In his words, “If you take the Rock & Soul from Funkadelic, Punk of Nirvana, and the Blues from Stevie Ray Vaughn you get Ayron Jones and The Way.”
… a fast, furious, mean, nasty, in-your-face, brute force cyclone for two minutes and thirty-one seconds.
The first track I was introduced to was “Baptized In Muddy Water”. After the first listening, it comes across as a straight up blues tune. The thing is that there really is a lot more going on after listening to this song a couple more times. The next sampling that I listened to was “Feedin’ From the Devil’s Hand”, and it absolutely was an exhilarating shock! Utilizing soft, loud, soft, turn the speakers to 11, a soul sucker-punching guitar solo, Roger Daltrey-esque scream, and end it with a distortion fade-out! I get chills every time I listen to it. Another strong effort is what could possibly be a new stadium rocker “Can’t Stop the Rain”. (Ayron is a proud ‘12th Man’…That’s a Seattle Seahawk fan for you non-sports types.) With a machine-gun staccato guitar riff throughout, it’s a fast, furious, mean, nasty, in-your-face, brute force cyclone for two minutes and thirty-one seconds. “On Two Feet I Stand” is the excruciating heartbreak and redemption song that gives one hope and strength that everything is going to be okay in the end.
In all, this album is an amazing first effort. Produced by Grammy Winner Sir-Mix-A-Lot, he says that he doesn’t produce music just for money, that he has to love what he hears and be a fan of the band first. He says of his first hearing of Ayron Jones & The Way, “it took about fifteen minutes for that to happen…Seriously.” Mix states that they initially recorded the album at multiple studios (twice), and eventually decided to do it in his personal recording studio. All that he needed to add to his equipment was a couple of nice compressors. He ran them one-to-one to capture a warm sound, and now it sounds like a very nice live album.
Want more from Ayron Jones and The Way? Of course you do, please feel free to further your trip of the awesome right here.
Special kilScene Contributor
• Hunter MacLeod